Innovation is embedded in everything we do. It’s in our approach to the cocoa growing process itself, in every stage of the supply chain and in the mindset of our factories, partners and people. Take a look at some of the latest things we’ve been working on as part of our vision to grow a smarter future for cocoa.
Keeping pace with cocoa
Technological innovation is the key to realising sustainable agriculture and financially empowering our farmers. To that end, ECOM Cocoa has extended the SMSi programme from collecting farmer information to mapping land. Data collection has been automated for field staff, with 341,115 polygons and 432,305 hectares mapped to date.
The mapping information is linked to procurement information and to land use maps to ensure that traceability can be demonstrated from farm to first purchase point. Across the chain this helps achieve a more transparent end-to-end process.
What’s more, by bringing SMSi to rural communities, ECOM is putting the data in farmers’ hands to help them build more efficient, resilient operations and pave the way for their economic liberation.
Advancing Cocoa Varieties
Improving cocoa cultivation in Mexico
In 2012, we started our activities in the field in Tapachula, Chiapas, where we have a 12-hectare collection garden with more than 10 varieties of cocoa. This garden is our genetic material bank to produce disease-resistant plants of cocoa with a better productivity.
We seek to contribute to recovering cocoa cultivation in Mexico, in partnership with our commercial customers, working with producers in Chiapas and Tabasco, to improve the life quality of producers, giving them technical advice and disease-resistant cocoa plants.
We are also ensuring high productivity of their crops that allow them to have better income opportunities and generate more Mexican cocoa to produce chocolate.
Changing farmers' futures
Additional livelihood programme in action
ECOM implements numerous additional livelihood programmes in collaboration with many leading chocolate companies. These programmes have proven hugely successful in rural cocoa communities, boosting the income of cocoa farmers through alternative outlets that are not restricted to the cocoa season.
Franchise Holder is one such farmer who attended farmer training sessions on additional livelihood programmes and good agricultural practices.
After applying techniques he learned in the programme, he was able to harvest 34 bags of cabbage, which earned him an additional $3,191.27 for the year, bringing greater prosperity and opportunity to his family.
ECOM Cocoa supplies quality sustainable cocoa beans and ingredients to the world’s leading chocolate manufacturers and consumer food brands.
Our ambition is to grow a smarter future for cocoa. We want to help our customers make sustainable cocoa the norm and take cocoa farmers out of poverty. Through our Smarter Cocoa Charter, launched in 2022, we aim to improve farmer and worker livelihoods; protect and regenerate nature; and manage change through transparency and traceability.
ECOM Cocoa in figures
Customer Base Countries
Global supply chain farmers
Farmers in our direct supply chain
Cocoa trade offices
Products and Offerings
Our cocoa products
We offer beans from all main cocoa producing countries including: Cameroon, Colombia, Congo, Côte D’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, DRC, Ecuador, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea, Haiti, Indonesia, Liberia, Madagascar, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, PNG, Peru, Sao Tome, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Venezuela, Vietnam
Use our knowledge and market intelligence to minimise risk and maximise your return.
With multiple teams collecting field data on three continents and a proprietary network of weather stations, we are constantly building on real world data sets to better understand the cocoa outlook. Our team provides forecasts, insights, and analysis for our customers and traders, enabling better decisions.
Our research services include:
- Report centre: reports and insights into the latest trends and developments in the cocoa sector, including crop forecasts, monthly market recaps, weekly supply and demand summaries and risk analyses of deforestation and climate change.
- Customer Support: Focussed client presentations, providing ‘deep dives’ into the fundamentals driving the cocoa market, supporting decisions on sourcing, hedging and risk management strategy.
- Interactive Dashboards: A constantly expanding suite of interactive market information and data.
- Weather: Sustainable cocoa farming requires an understanding of the changing conditions on the ground. Our weather trackers and proprietary indices help us stay abreast of crop risk and supply fluctuations.
ECOM's Cocoa Charter
At ECOM we understand the challenges, both social and environmental, that come with trading raw agricultural materials and we recognise that to advance our industry we need to anticipate those challenges and changes more quickly.
We’re investing in innovation now, because the solutions we find today will give our customers the flexibility they need to transform their sustainability programmes for tomorrow.
To that end, in 2021, we developed the Smarter Cocoa Charter, which brings all our cocoa sustainability efforts under one strategy to benefit both people and the environment. The Charter is driven by three actions – we want to:
Farmer and worker livelihoods by empowering them and their communities to optimise their profitability and by eliminating breaches of human rights through proper risk identification and remediation.
Regenerate nature by optimising our natural resource management practices, improving farmer resilience to the effects of climate change and achieving Net Zero carbon by 2050.
Change by ensuring transparency and responsibility in our supply chains.
Working together for a better future
ECOM is active at every touchpoint along the global cocoa supply chain. We’re committed to simplifying the process of getting high quality, sustainable beans and products from point of origin all the way through to our customers.
Achieving this is only possible by working with organisations across the world We engage with:
- - Beyond Chocolate
- - Cocoa and Forest Initiative (CFI)
- - Equal Origins
- - European Cocoa Association
- - Federation of Cocoa Commerce
- - German Society for International Co-operation (GIZ)
- - International Climate Initiative
- - International Cocoa Initiative
- - Jacobs Foundation-led Child Learning and Education Facility
- - Jacobs Foundation-led Early Learning and Nutrition
- - Just Rural Transition
- - Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)
- - Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa
- - The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH)
- - TrueFootprint
- - US Agency for International Development (USAID )
- - World Cocoa Foundation
Verification and Assurance
Transparency and 3rd Party Certification
Our clients share our sustainability vision and we work with them on many of our farmer programmes. Together, we’re exploring new farming techniques that will reach new standards of responsibility for people and the planet. In farming communities, our programmes are helping more than 30,000 farmers to build economic resilience and embed human rights.
These programs require long term support and relationships with farmers, and we recognize that our long-term purchasing relationship facilitates this sustainable vision and reduced risk to farmers.
The deep involvement we have with our farming communities and world-leading organisations means we can validate our processes and our products with certifications our clients can trust, including:
- - Fairtrade International
- - Fairtrade USA
- - EU, NOP and Bio Suisse Organic
- - Fair for Life
- - Kosher
- - Rainforest Alliance
- -Third-party assessments: EcoVadis and Sedex
- -ISO and FSSC 22000
We recognize that for both ECOM and our customers, transparency is an area of growing focus. Shining a light on supply chains is how we
and our customers know that the programmes we implement are having the impact we’re working for.